Tuesday, November 27, 2012

EduTech Smackdown/Open Mic night

This will be a great event. Let's have a real showing of Iowa support!
PlMonday, December 3rd at 8PM Eastern, TL Virtual CafĂ©
2nd annual FREE EduTech Smackdown/Open Mic nightwebinar.  
Please plan on visiting or participating!/11/

2012 School Library Counts! Survey Report

This report is worth checking out at http://issuu.com/markisan/docs/aasl-slc-2012-web/16#share . Do you feel that it is representative of your situation? If not, think seriously about participating next year. It only takes about 20 minutes to complete the survey.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Review: Son, by Lois Lowry

If you haven't yet heard, not only is there a series following the The Giver (and possibly someday a movie?), which comes as a shock to many people, but the fourth and final book in the series has been released.  Each of the first three books followed a different character in different communities of the same world; the final installment revisits the original world of The Giver, and brings the characters together.

In Son, by Lois Lowry, we meet Claire, who has been given the dubious honor of being a Birthmother.  Everything is going along well, until she has problems during the birth, and is released from her duties as Birthmother.  Although she knows she is not supposed to wonder about the boy she has given birth to, she can't stop thinking about him and hoping he is well.  Her story continues as she struggles to find her son and ensure his well-being.

Son is a great conclusion to the Giver series, although, as someone who has loved all of the books in the series, the ending was a little anti-climactic for me, and some of the themes were more heavy-handed than is usual for Lowry.  However, the book overall is an excellent read, and one I would recommend for any lovers of The Giver.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Review: UnWholly

UnWholly, by Neal Shusterman, is the sequel to Unwind.  The book continues to follow the stories of the main characters, while meeting a few new ones.

Connor-the head of the Graveyard, is plagued by insecurities that he cannot truly keep the AWOL's in his care safe
Risa-confined to a wheelchair, she is the head of the medical unit in the Graveyard, and one of Connor's few confidantes
Starkey-a new AWOL to the Graveyard, who believes he should be in charge, but is willing to bide his time
Lev-famous for being the clapper who didn't clap, but is now confined to house arrest, save for community service visits to a juvenile detention facility
Nelson-the guard  shot in the leg at the Happy Jack Harvesting Center, is now seeking revenge against all AWOL's, but particularly the Akron AWOL
Cam-a teenage Frankenstein brought to life with the parts of unwinds, who wants nothing more than a companion, but is being used to promote a larger agenda

The book is full of action and suspense, and takes a peek into the larger conspiracy behind the unwinding accord.  If you have students that loved the first book, on the Iowa Teen Award list last year, they will love UnWholly as well.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: The Mark of Athena

The Mark of Athena, by Rick Riordan, is the third installment to the Heroes of Olympus series, which is a companion/continuation of the popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  In this book, Percy Jackson and Jason Grace join forces with five of their fellow demigods to continue the battle against Gaea, the Earth Mother.  Each demigod is tested to the limit as they face gods and trials on their quest, but also learn more about themselves and their relationships with each other.

Although the book has some slow moments and is full of cheesy lines, that's part of what readers love about Rick Riordan's books.  The book is quite long (608 pages), but plenty of action sequences will keep readers entertained and turning pages.  If you have readers that love the Percy Jackson series, the Heroes of Olympus series is a must-read.